1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am an author based in the UK. Like most authors I have a day job, but unlike most authors I love my day job! I work for a charity which supports people with disabilities. I have experience with community and music journalism, and when I am not working or writing (writing is work too,) I play netball, go to the cinema, theatre, or eat food. I like food, especially if I don't have to cook it. I do not eat dead animals, however. I am also a badger.
2.) When did you first begin to write? That's a tough one. I think I've always written. Ever since I was little I have been writing stories or recording them on cassette. I published my first book in 2011.
3.) Do you focus on a particular genre? No. I like to mess with reader expectations and as such my work is quite hard to pigeon hole. I have been told that my fantasy reads a bit like a crime thriller with magic and people read my comedy sci-fi for the romance.
4.) How do you overcome writer's block? Usually, by writing something else. The block usually occurs because the characters need space to decide what they're going to do next, so it's best to give it to them. I am lucky enough to be working on a collaborative fantasy project at the moment and it's very hard to get blocked with someone else pushing you on.
5.) Which authors inspire you? I think anyone who can create any type of art is inspirational. I'm going to go off the cuff here though and say my biggest creative inspiration is actually Joss Whedon. He showed us that you can have kick ass female characters who can still be vulnerable and, almost 20 years later and it's still hard to find a series even half as good as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
6.) Which of your characters do you most relate to? I think there has to be a bit of us in all of our characters. After all, they're the voices in our heads. Most of my main characters have a little bit of me in them somewhere.
7.) Where do you get your ideas? Most of my ideas come from social injustices and a need to say something. Entertainment is the best way to make a statement without seeming preachy. For example, I read an article which reported that there is a large amount of undocumented violence against transgender people, so I created Crew, a character with no gender, in the hope of causing some people to think differently and to question their perceptions.
8.) What do you consider to be the most important element of story writing? That's a tough one. There are so many important elements. Strong, diverse characters, a solid plot... but I think the most important thing is to be true to yourself. Don't be afraid to tell a story because of what people might think about it. Some people will like it, some people won't. It's a lot easier to knock something down than to build it. To build something takes strength.
9.) Do your fictional characters occupy your thoughts when you're not writing? All the time! They are way more interesting than actual life.
10.) Do you have a muse for inspiration, e.g. a particular person, place, or object? My muse is my emotions. If something makes me angry, upset or frustrated I deal with it by writing. If I'm having a good time then I don't necessarily need to write. Do you know any happy writers?
11.) Do you prefer classic literature or more modern books? I don't mind as long as the story is good. The problem with a lot of classic literature is that the only thing in the cannon is by male authors about male issues. Of course there are notable exceptions like Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, but generally history is told from a male viewpoint. I think modern female authors are starting to fight back, but we've still got a way to go to diversify what we perceive as mainstream.
12.) How do you relax when you're not writing? I love films and series box sets. I'm not embarrassed to admit I enjoy a good DVD binge session.
13.) Do you read much? (If so, what is your favourite genre to read?) I like reading but I am very picky about what I will read. It needs to grab me early on, or I put it to one side and don't go back to it. I am currently reading the Mortal Instruments series.
14.) What are some of your quirks? Quirks? I'm not sure I'm interesting enough to have quirks. I can't really cope with small-talk and would rather sit in companionable silence than talk nonsense to fill the void. Is that a quirk? Get me going on something I'm passionate about, though, and I'll talk forever.